Fake news that Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is undergoing treatment in the United States (US), has passed away is doing rounds in the social media. Goa Police Crime Branch on Wednesday (April 19) arrested a man said to be behind such rumours. He was arrested under Sec 505 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for spreading rumour and creating panic.
The man, identified as Kenneth Silveira, had put a post on Facebook saying, "Just got news that Parrikar is no more", reported news agency ANI.
A Goa BJP leader had on March 18 said that Parrikar was "responding positively" to the medical treatment in the US and was expected to return to India in the second week of April.
Parrikar left for the United States (US) for his medical treatment in the wee hours of March 7. Before leaving for America, Parrikar was undergoing treatment at Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai.
Since February, the Goa CM has been unwell. Parrikar was admitted to Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai on February 15 and discharged on February 22. On the same day he returned to Goa and presented the state budget in the Assembly, but the session was truncated to only four days owing to his illness. He was later admitted to the Goa Medical College and Hospital after he suffered from dehydration.
Before leaving Goa, Parrikar had formed a cabinet advisory committee to guide the state administration on governance and other issues, in his absence. The committee comprises Sudin Dhavalikar (of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party), Francis D'Souza (of the BJP) and Vijai Sardesai (of the Goa Forward Party).
On February 18, some media reports had mentioned that the chief minister was suffering from advanced stage IV of pancreatic cancer. The hospital had denied this.